Lavisky's homer lifts Captains to win, 2-1
EASTLAKE - The Dayton Dragons could not come through with runners on base on Thursday night as they fell to the Lake County Captains 2-1 in the second game of a three-game series.
Starter Cody Anderson (2-1, 2.45) took the bump for the Captains, coming off a loss in his last outing during which he went six innings and allowed just one hit and one run. Starting for Dayton was Tanner Robles (2-1, 2.67), a lefty from Oregon State University who posted a 33-0 record in high school.
The Captains struck first in their half of the first as left fielder Todd Hankins legged out a triple deep to left. With one out, designated hitter Alex Monsalve sent a sacrifice fly to center to plate Hankins, giving the Captains the 1-0 lead.
Dayton responded right away in the top of the second when left fielder Juan Silva led off with a walk. With one out, designate hitter Kyle Waldrop singled to right. Both runners advanced a base as Captains’ right fielder Jordan Smith misplayed the ball for an error and Silva went on to score on an RBI groundout off the bat of catcher Nick O’Shea.
Lake County’s next and final run occurred in their half of the second as catcher Alex Lavisky crafted a good at-bat that resulted in a shot over the left field bleachers for his second home run of the season.
That was all the run support Anderson needed as he continued to sail through six innings. Anderson gave way to right-hander Grant Sides in the top of the seventh, ending Anderson’s night with six hits, one run and two walks allowed while striking out five.
Robles also made it through six innings of work, relinquishing four hits, two runs and a walk while fanning four. Robles was replaced with Carlos Contreras in the seventh.
Sides worked two innings of scoreless relief, one walk being his only blemish on the night. Jeff Johnson, who has settled in and pitched well since his early-season struggles, closed the top half of the ninth with two strikeouts and a groundout to seal the Captains’ 2-1 win.
Captains’ manager David Wallace accredited the pitching staff with the team’s recent improvements.
“The staff has been throwing very well lately,” Wallace said. “I really like how they’re going after hitters and challenging them.”
Wallace also noted Anderson’s ability to battle.
“The results were there and the numbers were good, he just wasn’t in sync like he has been his last couple outings,” Wallace pointed out. “That’s what makes a good pitcher; he didn’t have his best stuff, but he could battle.”
Lavisky’s home run at bat also impressed Wallace.
“He laid off some good pitches earlier in the at bat,” Wallace said. “He put a nice, easy swing on the ball and didn’t try to muscle it. He’s got power to hit the ball out of the park from foul pole to foul pole.”
Lavisky said the pitch he sent over the bleachers was a fastball that didn’t quite run inside as it was supposed to. He also noted that he felt good in his approach at the plate.
“As the year’s gone on, I feel a lot more comfortable with my swing," Lavisky said. "I’m not just going up there and hacking at pitches.”
On the other side of the diamond, the Dragons’ issue has been their at bats with runners on base. In Thursday night’s game, Dayton hit 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base.
Next, left-hander Shawn Morimando (0-0, 4.50) will grace the mound for Lake County against Dayton’s Stalin Gerson (1-3, 5.40) on Friday.
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.